President Ian Khama has praised the completion of the Ntimbale Dam as a milestone in progressing efforts to solve the water problem in the North East region.
He said this when giving a key note address during the commissioning of the Ntimbale Dam on Friday in Masingwaneng Village.
“While struggling with finding sustainable sources for many of our areas, especially those in the Western part of the country, the North East now has reasonable sustainable water sources. Undertaking this project has been a major challenge which required careful investigations on the suitable dam site, and how best to develop it. This site proved to be not only technically, economically and environmentally feasible for a dam, but that a dam at this site would be able to meet the projected water demand for the whole North East District and neighbouring Central district villages at least for the next 20 years,” said the President.
The Ntimbale Dam is projected to have cost a total of P205 million. The President further highlighted that while Ntimbale Dam was under construction, government also carried a major water transfer scheme that covered all 51 villages in the North East District at a total cost of P280 million, the Maitengwe with 12 boreholes was developed prior to the water transfer scheme at a cost of P15 million.
Addressing the water challenges, Khama indicated that there was a rapid population growth, accelerated developments in the district headquarters and persistent and prolonged droughts which placed the region in a serious water deficit.
He further warned the residents to bear in mind the 4 Ds which he initiated during his inauguration as President of Botswana, one of them being discipline.
“Now that the district has a reasonable water supply of water for domestic purposes, there may be a tendency by some people not to use water carefully, and watering their animals from the domestic supply and, in some cases, even vandalize the infrastructure. Such behavior would constitute indiscipline and we will take all measures to ensure that none of this happens. Those caught in the misdeeds will have to answer and face the penalty,” said the President.
Khama further indicated that since ground water was not secure from evaporation losses, the Maitengwe Wellfield was to serve as a strategic reserve. The Wellfield is to serve as a standby in case there is breakdown at the dam or treatment plant.